5TH LEAD

Colombo appropriates lands, constructs Buddhist Stupas in Kuchchave'li

[TamilNet, Saturday, 10 November 2012, 20:37 GMT]
The Sri Lankan Department of Archaeology is engaged in constructing Buddhist Stupas in lands appropriated from Tamil and Muslim villagers at Kuchchave'li division of Trincomalee district. The appropriation of lands and the construction of the Buddhist temples are taking place with the backing of the occupying Sri Lanka Army. Foundation stone was laid on Friday for the construction of a Buddhist Stupa on the top of a rocky hillock called Karadimalai, along the seacoast, adjacent to the SL police station as well as the old Rest House complex in Kuchchave’li. The prime tourist location will get an exclusive Sinhala-Buddhist cultural image soon. The SL military is also appropriating lands in Kuchchave'li village, for its own purposes.

Location of the Kuchchave'li site of Mahayana inscriptions
Location of the Kuchchave'li site of Mahayana inscriptions [Image courtesy: Google Earth]


The name board for the new Sinhala-Buddhist temple was unveiled in the presence of the officers of the SL military at the ceremony held on Friday with the participation of several Buddhist monks from the south.

During the war there was a camp of the Sri Lanka Navy close to the old rest house building in Kuchchave'li. There was no modern Buddhist temple or statue exited there, and there was no Buddhist population either.

At the bottom of the hillock, the local Tamil people of the Kuchcha-ve’li village had a Pillaiyaar temple.

The archaeological evidence found in the hillock, where Sri Lanka’s genocidal brand of new Sinhala-Buddhist structure is now built, is a Sanskrit inscription of c. 4–5 century CE. The inscription is of Mahayana Buddhist affinities.

Mahayana Buddhism was a religion of a different shade from the Theravada Buddhism that was in monopoly at Anuradhapura. Today’s Sinhala Buddhists claim their affinity to Theravada Buddhism.

At a particular period of time in history, the Mahayana shade of Buddhism enjoyed conspicuous popularity especially in the East. The patronage was largely from the Eezham Tamils. At another period of time the people of the region, for their own historical reasons, opted to shun Buddhism.

If Sinhala-Buddhist structures have to be constructed anew wherever archaeological remains are found in the island, and if that is not a structural genocide programme against Eezham Tamils, then the Sri Lankan state should also construct new Saiva temples of equal dimensions at Dondra Head (the southern-most point of the island), Adam’s Peak, Sri Jayawardanapura Kotte, Anuradhapura, Polonnaruwa, Padawiya and at so many other heritage sites in today’s Sinhala-Buddhist part of the island where the Hindu remains are also found, Eezham Tamil civil circles responded.

If the Sri Lankan Archeology Department is involved in constructing new Buddhist Stupas in the archaeological sites, where there are no Sinhala-Buddhists today, then it has become an explicit as well as spearheading genocidal institution of the State in Colombo that need to be internationally investigated and indicted, the civil circles said.

It was the genocidal approach to religion by sections of elite and States operating in the island that historically harmed the natural pursuit of religion by the peoples and jeopardized the harmony in their spiritual quests. Despite the tall claims of current 'postmodern' world and 'pluralistic' societies, the genocidal approach has found an unchecked revival in the island and is practised with a new vigour by the State in Colombo and by its abetters – the BJP of India being the latest one to openly jump on the bandwagon, the Eezham Tamil civil circles further commented.


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